From a large private collection of Spanish minerals, a cabinet-sized version of somethign we normally only see as smaller speicmens! A thin veneer of limestone matrix is the host for a plate of glassy and gemmy, yellow-amber, fluorite crystals to 8 mm across. A later generation of lustrous and translucent, ivory colored calcite crystals, to 5 cm in length and of complex combinations of rhombohedral and prismatic habits, has almost completely covered the earlier fluorite. The effect is dramatic, like medusae shooting out. Very nice color and sculptural contrast make this one of the better large examples from this famous locality, and quite distinct in its combination from calcite of other locales. Remarkably, there is almost zero damage, and nothing of any bother worth noting, despite the size and 3-dimensionality of this piece. I am frankly shocked it is in such nice condition.
Three generations of crystallization have occurred on this limestone matrix. The first to form was a plate of lustrous and translucent, amber-colored crystals of fluorite, to .5 cm across. Next to form were clusters of intergrown, saddle shaped, ivory colored calcite. The third generation resulted in large, lustrous and translucent, ivory colored rhombohedrons of calcite, to 6.5 cm across - including one big crystal perched right at the apex of the specimen; and, remarkably not only is it complete 360 degerees around, but it is pristine! Aside from any locality value, this is therefore an interesting specimen with fascinating paragenesis. Very nice color and sculptural contrast make this one of the better large examples from this famous locality, and quite distinct in its combination from calcite of other locales. In fact, it is very similar to material from old quarries in Shullsberg, Wisconsin - but those of course do not grow on fluorite! Remarkably, there is almost zero damage, and nothing of any bother worth noting, despite the size and 3-dimensionality of this rather large specimen. I am frankly shocked it is in such nice condition. This is from a private collection in Spain, accumulated over decades. It is one of the larger, more 3-dimensional large pieces I have seen come out in such fine condition.
This outstanding full miniature specimen has all the qualities you could ask fo rin a historic copper in calcite : good luster, clarity to the calcite, rich inclusions, and good aesthetics. However, more than that, it has also free vein copper and a crystal of copper in association, which is uncommon. This is most certainly an old specimen, and many came out prior to the early 1900s. For the size, and beauty, I regard it highly. They are seldom available today, and remain almost unique to Michigan's historic copper district
A central 3.2 x 1.4 x 1.2 cm emerald crystal, translucent and gemmy, sits amidst a nest of stark white calcite. Importantly the calcite is crystallized - the best kind of matrix on these. The emerald has a very gemmy tip, and the rest of the crystal is quite translucent. It is a medium green in color, by gem dealer standards, but this is a color that I find very pleasing and fine for a specimen. As well, the contrast of white on green is dramatic. Long in the collection of Steven Sinotte and Rebecca Stewart, they bought this directly from one of the sources, and I agree with their feeling that this is a very special, balanced, display miniature. There are many emeralds to be had, and choosing one requires a compromise of gemminess, color, aesthetics, matrix, etc...this piece really has most qualities you would want, and for the price range I thought a very impressive specimen
ex. Marshall Sussman
This is from the so-called "sparkly pocket" , and there are few to be had. I first saw this specimen in the late 1990s in the Marshall and Charlotte Sussman Tsumeb collection. They had just obtained it from a collection in Africa at that time. It is a perfectly balanced, symmetric, SHARP specimen, with unusual accenting by the drapery of white calcite. The malachite has completely replaced an azurite, of unusual isolation and textbook symmetry. Then, atop the malachite, a thin layer of micro quartz druse was deposited. This adds the uique sparkle, unlike malachite pseudos from any other locale that I know of. The calcite came later, a final deposition, and luckily directional in that it left the front face open. The piece is complete all around but for a few minor contact points, and is stunning in person. Out of all the malachite pseudos out there, and there are many from Tsumeb alone, this stands out. I have always thought it a unique specimen. I obtained it in 2002 in a trade from the Sussman collection and sold it to collector Marc Weill, who owned it for 8 years or so and from whom it recently came back to market in an exchange deal.
ex. Lawrence Conklin
A superb, elegant, complete-all-around specimen, with minute rosasite crystals (and perhaps a few dioptase as well), sprinkling over calcite stalactites. It is a unique, colorful, geometrically interesting thumbnail specimen. From the private collection of longtime dealer Lawrence Conklin, a superb thumbnail
ex. Peter Megaw
Dr Peter Megaw (a collector and part time dealer in the silver exploration biz in Mexico) brought out several of the best of these so far as I have been able to track, which he got at the minehead. The other ones I obtained came through Mike New, whose agents bought for him in Mexico and then took to him. I got most of BOTH LOTS from them and had control thus of much of the pocket but for the pieces they kept for themselves...and they valued their few keepers a premium. There were only 3 that Megaw kept. He is a Mexican collector, after all. It took me a special piece to pry this out of him in exchange. This is his "big one" and it is pristine, more so than most. It has SHARP pristine crystals that stick out nicely and dont have all the contacts so many others did! It is, in fact, damage free on the display face and has aurichalcite in free growth (right side) as well as in inclusions. It is a cabinet piece, and displays phenomenally.
This is a sugary, sparkling knob of the subtle pastel-green calcite that came out once in the 1980s, and is often referred to as cuprian calcite or "daiquiri calcite" for its color. It is pristine, and very aesthetic.Pieces like this are highly desired, and turn up now only in old collections with Tsumeb suites. In person, it is much brighter. The color is soft, subtle, but not boring...it really is a quite unique color that is hard to describe in photos.
ex. Irv Brown
Very few smaller "heart twins are available in the marketplace, compared to those that are small cabinet or larger in size and high in $$$ - we think simply fewer little guys were saved by miners back in the day, since they got more money for bigger twins. That makes it quite difficult to find a fine miniature or thumbnail example. I have seen in fact just a few thumbnails in all my years. This is a floater with most of the upper calcite faces exhibiting wonderfully visible growth striations; and it is fat and transparent as well. The lustre is glassy and gemmy. It is shockingly colorless , without distracting iron inclusions as they often have. The old german labels describe the twinning habit. ex Irv Brown thumbnail collection. Per Paul Pohwat of the Smithsonian (with thanks): the label is giving the crystal notation in the Miller and Naumann or Weiss notation, in other words the indices of the faces and the twin axis. The notation with the four numbers is the Miller notation. So while technically correct that the symbols are mathematical descriptions of the crystal the easier route would be to say that they are the crystallographic notations for the faces.
ex. Stockholm Museum of Natural History
This is a superb, aesthetic specimen of calcite from ANY locality, with a funny disjointed and 3-dimensional termination that looks like it is bending over on its base (rhombohedral modifications atop a scalenohedral pedestal). It is complete all around, 3-dimensional and as close to pristine as you can ask for (a few very tiny dings, is all). It is VERY reflective and lustrous, and so gemmy that light bounces off the back faces and thus makes the crystal look cloudier than it is. So we took the closeup photos with reduced lighting to convey more of the clarity and gemminess. I had not seen a calcite from this locality, despite 20 years of collecting calcite, until this piece came my way in the purchase of the Wilhelm Leithauser collection. And the reason I am told this, is that the find is very old, from the 1930s, and few ever came to market. Indeed, the typed accession label from the Stockholm Museum indicates a date of 1937 (which may be discovery or acquisition, I cannot say). The other label seems to be the actual museum display label.
An exquisite emerald specimen, simply "different" to my eye than so many others. It has a very castellated, complex multiple termination that to me looks like towers out of a fantasy movie made of gemmy green emerald. The color is a vivid, bright hue. Some collectors prefer darker colors, some lighter shades, and this is somewhere in between; and very vibrant for it. You can see the piece shimmering from across the room, as it also has sparkly lustre on both the calcite and the emerald associations. The piece is beautifully trimmed, to accentuate the 3-dimensionality of the emerald and of the adjacent twinned calcite, atop. The calcites are not just "matrix" here, but worthy in their own right, and the twin is particularly sharp and gemmy. Most collectors would probably go after your stereotypic emerald - a single crystal sticking out of matrix. My argument there would be that, however nice it may be (and price can be $5k-500k), the overall aesthetic is still the same, from piece to piece, on a general basis. THIS ONE, though, is subtly differrent to my eye and always stood out to me. I first owned it about 2004, and recently had a chance to exchange it back from the collectors (not for quality reasons, just simply as they broadened their tastes a bit to other species). Joe Budd photos.
This superb full miniature highlights a very sharp, aesthetically placed spinel crystal, 2.5 cm on a side, perched on the most contrasting matrix you can ask for, of stark white calcite. The crystal of spinel is "spinel-twinned", in that it shows a clear macle twinning effect. Most such twinned spinels seem to come to market off matrix, for whatever reasons. The spinel has been carefully excavated on the back and sides and is fully exposed - quite a risk for the preparator, to have taken. The termination and the faces are all sharp and lustrous with a classic waxy luster that is typical of spinel. This was mined in the 2010 mining season and for my taste, was the finest example I saw out of a small lot of them to come out. When backlit, this glows a rich , deep, maroon color. Joe Budd Photos
Very rarely can one get a gem euclase on matrix, let alone a piece of this high quality. The crystal about 1.5 inches long, is glassy and dramatic, with a brilliant lustre and color that has to be seen to be believed. These few gemmy, matrix euclases from this emerald mine are rated as the best of species, and I would think this must be among the best matrix miniatures known. It came out around 2003-2004. It is, surely, in rarified company. .Joe Budd Photos. I have to admit i sold this perhaps 3-4 years ago, but just had it back for cleaning , base, and photography ; and so its only posted here for fun. This euclase is simply awesomely colorful, and impactful, in person.
ex. Jason New
This is, according to the man who brought them out to market in the last 5 years, the finest miniature recovered in the modern reworking of this old locale. It was found around 2008 and was in the collection of Jason New until recently (he and his family run a large specimen mining operation in Mexico , and he has superb taste in specimens to keep!). I am told that the production of truly good pieces from this mine is now only a few per year, with the majority being "wholesale or bulk level" material. The large crystal is 3.2 cm tall and is SUPER GEMMY. You may have seen old apatites from this mine. They were gemmy too. But, this one has a degree of clarity and internal brightness that must rank it highly, and to my eye it is simply a little bit finer in quality than any older examples I have seen in the size class. It is brighter, sharper, more lustrous, as a gem crystal. Also, the piece is simply very aesthetic, overall.Joe Budd Photos
Dalnegorsk clear fluorites are some of the most desired among fluorite collectors. This is an older specimen, probably mined in the 1980s or early 90s, that features a REALLY complexly edged and bevelled fluorite "ice cube" sitting atop calcite crystals. The crystal is about 3 cm on edge and absolutely colorless and clear. Usually, you get cubes or cuboctohedra of the ice-clear sort from here, but seldom have i seen such large and isolated examples of this "weird" habit from the mine. The crystal look s etched at first, but the subtle complexity is due to growth patterning and fluctuations, rather than to etching effects later, I would assume. Joe Budd Photos
All Content and Design ©1996-2012 The Arkenstone
Powered by http://mineralwebsites.comMineral Specimens by species; or by specimen id.